Changing outlets


Old 01-01-05, 10:02 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 74
Changing outlets

I am changing all my outlets to white ones.Is there some professional trick to stuffing the wires back into the outlet after pulling them out and rewiring new outlet.Mine are really stiff.
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Old 01-01-05, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
The trick is to be very careful and very neat. Fold the wires accordion style, arrange them neatly, and push them back into the box as far as they can go. Use your fingers, not the receptacle, to push the wires back in.

Other tips you didn't ask for:
  • Make sure you understand the function of the tab on the sides of the receptacles. Examine the tabs on the sides of the old receptacles and make sure you make them the same on the new receptacles. You may have to break some out, especially on half-switched or split-wired receptacles.
  • Use screws, with the wires wrapped clockwise. Do not use the backstab connections (wires poked into holes), even if they were that way before.
  • Do not put more than one wire under a screw. If you have three wires to connect to two screws, use wire nuts and pigtails.
Old 01-01-05, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 973
I found some things at Home Depot that I absolutely love. They're called "Term-a-Nuts". It's a wire nut with a #12 stranded wire coming out the end and a forked end on the wire.

Here's a website so you can tell what I'm talking about:

These give you a nice, flexible pigtail that is convenient for your standard outlets with one romex in and one out. Put your two blacks in the wirenut, push the wirenut into the back, then connect the flexible stranded wire easily to a brass screw. Repeat for White and bare/green.

Whether you use these or not, be SURE to follow the advice John's excellent advise.
Old 01-01-05, 04:13 PM
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Posts: n/a
Using the handle end of a hammer to push the wires in the box after you have folded them, as John mentioned, works well with stiff wires.

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